A SuperHero Thick Noggin!
OY VEY!!! We had a great audience in Richmond, VA for the opening show. I go out to skate my number. Great laughter when I show up as Batman and spin around with the doll. Nice double axel, good response when I become Wonderwoman. Nice triple toe followed by a wanky double sal. Eh...first night, no worries. Pump up my muscles, great audience response! Good double axel, and now we come to the backflip over the doll. I have been backflipping over objects for over a decade. I have literally flipped over people, an aerobed, mop buckets, probably well over 200 times. Tonight...I FREAKIN picked too late! So what does that mean? Well, no ice to launch me into the air. No firm pick, no height, no time to complete the backflip. The effect?
First the doll gets pushed back. Then I flip only a half rotation, and KLONK right on my noggin! My neck compresses, I’m doing a head stand!!!! and the rest of my body finishes the rotation laying on the ice. I’m thinking, “son a ?!$%, I picked too late!” Then since I’m suppose to skate forward and trip and fall on the girl, I quickly crawl over and lay on top of her. I’m guessing half the audience thought it was planned that way? I jumped up and took my bow to a pretty decent hand. My good buddy Gwendel picked up my gear on the ice and I skate off. Eric Lang, our personal trainer was there in a flash and the paramedics to access the damage. I could tell I was bleeding and made sure they did their best to protect my Superman outfit! :)
Eric did his best to patch me up so I could run out and do the hoop number and then the finale. Sure everyone was worried and didn’t want me to skate if it was a problem. I’m thinking, “OH H%LL NO! I’m finishing this show! If I’m not blacking out, going into convulsions, and not bleeding like crazy, there is no reason why I shouldn’t do my job...especially if there is no workers comp!” (just kidding about the last part Tommy! although not a bad idea....hint, hint...but such is the life of professional skater and I would choose no other life!)
Finish the show with 2 more backflips in the finale, pack up and off the hospital. 10:30 pm arrival time, done by 2 am. Blech! Eric came with me and made sure everything was OK. 8 staples, and tetanus shot later, I’m ready to go. So they put this bandage on me that goes from under my chin up around the top of my head. Then I told them my neck was obviously sore, so here comes the neck brace! Man I felt and looked like a dork! We walk back the 6 blocks to the hotel with Eric joking around saying if we run into anyone I’ll be like, “I just got shot in the head, like I’m afraid of you?? Bring it on!” I slept with the neck brace on, which I must say my neck is sore, but not too terrible. We’ll see what happens today!!!! I can tell you one thing, I’ll pick much early for the backflip this time!!!!
*** note from the future *** Three years before this incident I had a bad pass off of a skater onto my shoulder and ended up wrenching my neck. For three years I had limited mobility turning my head from left to right. I tried everything from chiropractors to acupuncture. The next day after hitting my head, I got full range back, and have had full range ever since!
Here is the Detroit show: